compare and contrast

SOCI 250A: Introduction to Sociological Theory Fall 2020

Essay #1

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Submission: Upload to Canvas in Word or PDF.

Due Dates: 20 November.

Time: 23:59



You are required to write a 4-5 page essay on any content in the course that you have not already written about.


The essay can be a synthesis of ideas (meaning connecting together) from a single author. For the synthesis approach you will need to situate the author in relation to a school of thought (Durkheim and positivism, Weber and anti-positivism, or Marx and dialectics or materialism). Show how the ideas that you develop situate the author/thinker within that school of thought.


Alternatively, you can write a compare and contrast essay that brings two different thinkers into a discussion. Present the ideas of one thinker and then present the second. Once you have done this, you can then explain the differences between them and explain why you think one thinker is better than the other. For comparisons, we have positivism and anti-positivism (Durkheim and Weber), and we have the different ideas of the origins of capital from Weber and Marx. Develop each thinker in about 1.5-2 pages and then write a page explaining the difference and your conclusion.


You must use direct quotes from either the textbook. You then explain the quote, and define any key terms in it. Do not paraphrase. You will then develop the significance or importance of the quote. The significance is the “why is this important” explanation, and this can include such things as a connection to previous paragraphs. that is, how does this idea expand upon or relate to a previous paragraph. For example, you could develop a paragraph on Marx’s argument concerning the Enclosure acts and then relate it back to an earlier paragraph where you discuss his idea of the original sin of capitalism.


Each paragraph should connected to previous paragraph(s). The question you should keep in mind when writing any paragraph is: how does this paragraph advance the ideas, issues or concepts introduced in the previous paragraph.


Weight and Length:

The essay is worth 25 marks and should be 4-5 pages, double spaced. I would really encourage you to try to get to that fifth page. Title pages and bibliographies do not count to the page count: you must submit a minimum of 4 pages of work.


There is a rubric posted to Canvas.


Formatting Requirements:

1. Use Chicago Manual Style in-text citations. Do not use APA or MLA.

a. For citing a book:

b. For citing a film or video:

c. For citing web sources:

2. Include your name, student #, the date, & course number on the top left of the 1st page.

3. Include a title.

4. Insert a footer with your name and the page number.

5. Use default font (Times New Roman), font size (12), and standard margins.

6. Left align your text—DO NOT CENTRE YOUR TEXT.

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